Get a Personal Update from Siri on iPhone, iPad, Mac
Siri has a neat largely unknown feature called Personal Update, that, when requested, will give you a summary of information from various apps that you may find useful.
Specifically, Personal Update will give you the weather forecast for the day, whatever your calendar events that day are, your reminders, an travel time estimate to locations that Siri is privy to (like work, or school), and a news summary through one of the approved American mainstream media narrative outlets like NPR, Washington Post, Fox News, or CNN.
It's not bouncing around, trying out new tools and techniques.
It's not constantly hacking in an effort to streamline or maximize your productivity (whatever that means).
What makes you productive is getting your hands dirty and doing the work. Completing that work to the best of your ability. And doing it with the tools at hand.
That's the way it is. That's the way it's always been. As I've written before, your most powerful tool for productivity is you. Your knowledge. Your focus. Your discipline and persistence. Tools can augment that, but they won't replace any or all of that.
Can you imagine how good I’d be at the old things if I would stop constantly moving to the new things?
Stick with the old things. Get stuff done.
I shudder to think about how many cumulative hours I have spent fretting and thinking and tinkering and fiddling with the technology I personally use. True, I have learned much and have been able to gain a great understanding of how that technology works. But I learn quickly. And it doesn't take much time before I'm no longer learning and all I'm doing is fretting and tinkering for distraction or entertainment or whatever.
I like to think that my blog is just an online representation of myself, my thoughts, opinions, and maybe also just things that I think others may find interesting.
So why would people read my blog?
Well, I guess it's for the same reason that I follow people on Mastodon, why I subscribe to people on YouTube, and why I read so many blogs.
Most of the “content” I consume seems to stem from people going onto the internet to either express their thoughts or share their perspectives. That all seems rather simplistic, but I think it's true.
Does that mean a blog is someone just saying things on the internet? I think that's what I do. I think it's what other people do as well. And I think I like it.
- “Drafts is an app optimized for taking quick notes and sending them to other places instead of storing them in the long term.
- Each Drafts note has a unique ID which can be understood as a digital index card linkable from anywhere.
- These notes are temporary, so I’m not keeping them in the system. After I processed one, it can be thrown away.
- Notes in Drafts don’t need much organization; everything is on a simple list. When I’m done with a note, it can be trashed or archived.”
They say “don't let perfect be the enemy of good”. When it comes to blogging on a personal site I'd also suggest to embrace the “good enough” mindset. There are situations where you want to spend time fine-tuning your writing, choosing the perfect word, and rewriting the same sentence until it's perfect. I'd argue that a personal blog is not the place for that. Not because it's not worth it but because it's not really necessary. Personal blogs to me are more like conversations. When you talk to someone you don't say the same thing four different times until you find the perfect phrase. You just talk, you communicate and if something is not clear you clarify it.
I see way too many people online saying that they don't write because they don't like their writing and they don't think what they write is good enough. I'll call bullshit on that. Your writing is good enough. If I can have a blog and I can write so can you.
And so I'm now of the opinion that stats and analytics stifle creativity and innovation. If you write something based off of what is safe and will get a certain amount of numbers, you're not doing anything new or risky or innovative. And then all of the content becomes the same old stuff that's already been written before. I feel like this explains a lot of the blogs I've come across on the internet.”
I would rather my metric for success not be how many page views I get or how to get Google to list me further up on the page results. I think my way of measuring success with blogging will be how many blog posts I've written and if I feel like I'm writing high quality content and writing content that's true to me. And what qualifies as high quality content isn't something someone told me in a blog article I should be writing about.
Let’s start with a fact: most of my posts originate in time spent reading someone else, whether it is a news article, a blog post, or a column. The less I read, the less productive I become, and the less new articles this blog gets. Reading is the fuel to writing and 90 percent of the time the starting point of a new draft. But reading requires discipline, time, and a decent amount of energy.
But when I spend too much time refining the design of the blog, it makes me want to only publish the most elegant and perfect essays. It starts to feel like a brand new notebook where you try to write as neatly as possible, never making a mistake, etc.
That’s why at times I’ve written posts along the lines of “This is how I want to write for my blog” before. I guess it’s some kind of pre-emptive warning to try and set the readers expectations. But I think it was more for my benefit than for anyone reading.
At the same time, I don’t want to belittle that type of blog post. Because I think it has its use. While, it may not serve any use on its own, it gets the ball rolling. Whatever friction was there before has been slightly reduced.
My blog isn’t a perfect Moleskine notebook. It’s a old and battered collection of notes, photos, longer pieces of writing, and all sorts of scribbles and mistakes. And sometimes I need to remember that.